Jon Schmitz is not Chautauqua Institution’s archivist and historian for nothing. He looks among the many stones unturned and finds the source of history that, for many, has gone unnoticed. Sometimes he affirms what often was thought to be true — and sometimes he doesn’t.
The experiment at Fair Point did not happen without help. John Heyl Vincent and Lewis Miller knew people — they had earned attention.
For example, Vincent knew Ulysses S. Grant, a general, a parishioner, a president. And through Vincent’s arrangement, Grant came to Chautauqua in 1875 while he was president. His visit earned attention for the fledgling Institution and could be credited with much of the Institution’s early success.
To speak of Grant, his early association with Vincent and Chautauqua, and to share his early findings as he researches and writes a book about Grant, Ronald White will give a talk titled “Grant at West Point: ‘Much of the time, I’m sorry to say, was devoted to novels.’ ”
As part of the Oliver Archives Heritage Lecture Series, White will speak today at 3:30 p.m. in the Hall of Christ. White is an award winning author — his most recent book, A. Lincoln: A Biography, was published in 2009 and is a New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times bestseller.